Fact Sheet

June 2020 | Download PDF

Our Story

At Blue Shield of California, we are passionate about creating a healthcare system that is worthy of our family and friends and sustainably affordableWe strive to be a trusted advisor to help Californians live healthy and fulfilling lives. Blue Shield was founded in 1939 by a group of physicians who pioneered a prepaid healthcare plan to ensure families of any economic means could afford quality medical care.

Today, we are transforming health care in a way that truly serves our non-profit mission by lowering costs, improving quality and enhancing the member and physician experience. Blue Shield provides access to comprehensive healthcare services through medical, dental, vision, Medi-Cal (formerly California Medicaid Program) and Medicare benefit plans. 

In 2019, we served nearly 4.4 million members:

  • Employer Plan members - 2,567,333
  • BlueCard members - 354,130
  • Medicaid/Medicare members - 738,607
  • Individual and Family Plan members - 726,407

 Blue Shield of California’s provider network includes:

  • Through our PPO plans, we partner with:
    • 63,997 Physicians
    • 379 Hospitals
  • Through our HMO plans, we partner with:
    • 42,774 Physicians
    • 358 Hospitals

Investing in Next Generation Care

  • Supporting physicians: We are a founding investor in Altais, a new company that empowers doctors to focus on what they do best: connecting with and treating patients.
  • Real-time claims: We launched a pilot with health technology start-up OODA to pioneer real-time claims adjudication and payments. Patients can see costs at the provider’s office instead of waiting days or weeks for claims processing. So far, about 75% of members in the pilot utilize the new claims tool.
  • Lowering drug costs: Blue Shield of California, along with 17 other Blue Cross Blue Shield Association plans, is working with nonprofit Civica Rx to provide low-cost generic medications by early 2022.
  • Preventative health: Blue Shield is powering better health through our digital Wellvolution platform, giving members 50+ digital apps and related services for improving their health – as well as access to more than 30,000 brick and mortar locations. Already, 27,000 members are enrolled.

Leading Change

  • Manifest Medex: We fund support for a statewide digital information exchange, now with 19 million patient records, to allow health providers to quickly access patient medical records.
  • Symphony: We have invested in a statewide directory enabling Californians to find doctors and other providers.
  • Comprehensive Affordability: Blue Shield is a stakeholder in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Office of Healthcare Affordability. It seeks to rein in healthcare costs and ensure cost of care grows in line with paychecks.
  • Homelessness: We committed $20 million to Gov. Newsom’s California Access to Housing and Services Fund, which aims to reform Medi-Cal and help solve homelessness.

A Great Place to Do Meaningful Work

  • President and Chief Executive Officer: Paul Markovich
  • 6,970 employees as of December 31, 2019
  • 84% of employees said Blue Shield of California is a great place to work
  • Achieved zero-pay ratio gap among men, women and minorities
  • For the seventh year, recognized as one of 2019 World’s Most Ethical Companies®
  • For the fourth year, 100% score on Human Rights Campaign’s 2019 Corporate Equality Index survey and included in Best Places to Work for LGBTQ equality

Caring for Our Community and the Environment

  • Blue Shield has donated nearly $600 million to Blue Shield of California Foundation since 2002, including $40 million in 2019.
  • San Francisco Business Times named Blue Shield of California a recipient of “Beyond the Check,” its award for community volunteerism.
  • 81% of employees supported more than 250 community projects totaling 44,809 hours.
  • Blue Shield moved its headquarters from San Francisco to downtown Oakland into a new LEED gold certified building that will enable us to continue to surpass our sustainability goals.

Operating Responsibly

  • Of the company's $21 billion in revenue from premiums in 2019, 85.4% was spent on medical care – totaling more than $18 billion in claims paid to healthcare facilities and providers.
  • We paid a total of $402 million in income taxes, ACA taxes, premium taxes, and other fees. Our net income for 2019 was $573 million.

For more information about Blue Shield of California, please visit news.blueshieldca.com

Headquarters: 601 12th St, Oakland, CA 94607, (510) 607-2000

Blue Shield of California is an independent member of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.